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Community Watchers Minnesota Avenue Pilot

During school year 2018-2019, DME supported the presence of safe passage workers near schools at the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station, through a grant and partnership with the community-based organization, East River Family Strengthening Collaborative. The $50,000 grant supports paid safe passage workers and is modeled after other efforts locally and in Chicago that have shown success in reducing violence and increasing safety. The goal of the program was to reduce violence and increase safety by hiring and training adults in the community to act as deterrents to crime and violence as students travel. Adults from the community were hired and trained to act as deterrents to crime and violence as students travel. ‘Community Watchers’ have been assigned to monitor hot spots and provide a positive presence during student arrival and dismissal from school. Community Watchers worked at least 3 days a week, and worked successfully with the MPD and other partners to reduce the number of student-involved safety incidents occurring in the safe passage area.

“While we continue extensive cross-government coordination on safety efforts in all parts the city, we are excited to work with schools and the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative to bolster the work of building a culture of safety around the Minnesota Avenue Safe Passage Priority Area,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn.